L.A.’s Homeless Numbers Jumped Nearly 14% in January

Los Angeles is making little progress on the homeless crisis. In fact, even before the coronavirus pandemic, the number of people without homes grew by 12.7% in the county and by 13.6% in the City of L.A. There are now 66,433 homeless people countywide.

This is the fifth year in a row that homelessness has increased in L.A. — despite hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars spent to address the problem.

There’s no telling what the homeless rate stands at today. The latest Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count reflects the situation as of January—before some 600,000 people in the county lost their jobs.

Heidi Marston, Executive Director of The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), acknowledged the numbers are grim, but said the organization has been working tirelessly to address the crisis.

“LAHSA does not like these numbers because we know first-hand that we have done so much to increase the effectiveness of our systems and bring tens of thousands of people inside. This year’s results reinforce that our community must address the deep-rooted causes within larger safety net systems that stop people from falling into homelessness.

“We have doubled the number of housing placements since the implementation of Measure H, we introduced Housing Central Command to speed up placements and, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we sheltered over 6,000 people in just a few months. Our homeless services system is helping more people than ever, and it’s operating in better alignment with the city, county, and other agencies than ever before. And it’s not enough.”


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